In 2012 Congress authorized the establishment of the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) with a goal to "provide emergency responders with the first nationwide, high-speed, broadband network dedicated to public safety".
Congress and the FCC set aside 20MHz of some of the most valuable nationwide cellular spectrum to dedicate to building FirstNet, and after a long and convoluted process AT&T eventually won the contract to begin bringing FirstNet to life in March 2017.
Throughout 2018, the first FirstNet compatible areas are starting to go live across the country, and a trickle of FirstNet compatible gear is coming to market.
This is great news for public safety.
To access the full priority access capabilities of FirstNet requires a special FirstNet cellular plan and SIM card, but AT&T customers with LTE Band 14 compatible gear will benefit from FirstNet spectrum automatically as well.« Back to Glossary Index